Originally posted by Nosred
reply to post by kiwifoot
Yeah I meant to go more into that. Somehow I must have overlooked it though while I was writing. Oh, well.
Glad you liked it.
On the other hand, North American English has undergone some sound changes not found in other varieties of English speech:
The merger of /ɑ/ and /ɒ/, making father and bother rhyme.This change is nearly universal in North American English, occurring almost everywhere except for parts of eastern New England, hence the Boston accent.
The merger of /ɒ/ and /ɔ/. This is the so-called cot-caught merger, where cot and caught are homophones. This change has occurred in eastern New England, in Pittsburgh and surrounding areas, and from the Great Plains westward.
For speakers who do not merge caught and cot: The replacement of the cot vowel with the caught vowel before voiceless fricatives (as in cloth, off [which is found in some old-fashioned varieties of RP]), as well as before /ŋ/ (as in strong, long), usually in gone, often in on, and irregularly before /ɡ/ (log, hog, dog, fog [which is not found in British English at all]).
The replacement of the lot vowel with the strut vowel in most utterances of the words was, of, from, what and in many utterances of the words everybody, nobody, somebody, anybody; the word because has either /ʌ/ or /ɔ/; want has normally /ɔ/ or /ɑ/, sometimes /ʌ/.
Vowel merger before intervocalic /ɹ/. Which vowels are affected varies between dialects, but the Mary-marry-merry, nearer-mirror, and hurry-furry mergers are all widespread. Another such change is the laxing of /e/, /i/ and /u/ to /ɛ/, /ɪ/ and /ʊ/ before /ɹ/, causing pronunciations like [pɛɹ], [pɪɹ] and [pjʊɹ] for pair, peer and pure. The resulting sound [ʊɹ] is often further reduced to [ɝ], especially after palatals, so that cure, pure, mature and sure rhyme with fir.
Dropping of /j/ is more extensive than in RP. In most North American accents, /j/ is dropped after all alveolar and interdental consonant, so that new, duke, Tuesday, resume are pronounced /nu/, /duk/, /tuzdeɪ/, /ɹɪzum/.
æ-tensing in environments that vary widely from accent to accent; for example, for many speakers, /æ/ is approximately realized as [eə] before nasal consonants. In some accents, particularly those from Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City, [æ] and [eə] contrast sometimes, as in Yes, I can [kæn] vs. tin can [keən].
The flapping of intervocalic /t/ and /d/ to alveolar tap [ɾ] before unstressed vowels (as in butter, party) and syllabic /l/ (bottle), as well as at the end of a word or morpheme before any vowel (what else, whatever). Thus, for most speakers, pairs such as ladder/latter, metal/medal, and coating/coding are pronounced the same. For many speakers, this merger is incomplete and does not occur after /aɪ/; these speakers tend to pronounce writer with [əɪ] and rider with [aɪ]. This is a form of Canadian raising but, unlike more extreme forms of that process, does not affect /aʊ/. In some areas and idiolects, a phonemic distinction between what elsewhere become homophones through this process is maintained by vowel lengthening in the vowel preceding the formerly voiced consonant, e.g., [læ:·ɾɹ̩] for "ladder" as opposed to [læ·ɾɹ̩] for "latter".
Both intervocalic /nt/ and /n/ may be realized as [n] or [ɾ̃], rarely making winter and winner homophones. Most areas in which /nt/ is reduced to /n/, it is accompanied further by nasalization of simple post-vocalic /n/, so that V/nt/ and V/n/ remain phonemically distinct. In such cases, the preceding vowel becomes nasalized, and is followed in cases where the former /nt/ was present, by a distinct /n/. This stop-absorption by the preceding nasal /n/ does not occur when the second syllable is stressed, as in entail.
The pin-pen merger, by which [ɛ] is raised to [ɪ] before nasal consonants, making pairs like pen/pin homophonous. This merger originated in Southern American English but is now also sometimes found in parts of the Midwest and West as well, especially in people with roots in the mountainous areas of the Southeastern United States.
Originally posted by Nosred
Part 4: Americanisms
The creation of some words deemed 'Americanisms' that are often attributed to Americans were in fact first used in Britain. These words fell out of usage when the accent in England began to change, but lived on in American colonies.